Skip to main content

Full text of "War-time financial problems"

See other formats


H2       THE YEAR'S BALANCE-SHEET

task-of the Chancellor of the Exchequer of imposing
economy on a spendthrift War Cabinet is one of
extreme difficulty. I hope it is not necessary to say
that I do not urge economy from any sordid desire
to save the nation's money if, by its spending,
victory could be secured or brought a day nearer.
I only urge it because I believe that the conservation
of our resources is absolutely necessary to maintain
our staying power, and that these resources are at
present being scandalously wasted by the Govern-
ment. Inter-departrnental competition is still com-
plained of in the latest report of the National Com-
mittee on Expenditure, and there seems to be still
very little evidence that the Government Depart-
ments have yet possessed themselves of the simple
fact that it is only out of these resources that victory
can be secured, and that any waste of them is there-
fore a crime against the cause of liberty and progress.
It is possible that before these lines are in print
the Chancellor will have brought in his new Budget,
and therefore any attempt to forecast the measures
by which he will meet next year's revenue would
be even more futile than most other endeavours at
prophecy. But from the figures of last year as
they are before us we see once more that the pro-
portion of expenditure raised by revenue still leaves
very much to be desired; 707 millions out of,
roughly, 2700 millions is not nearly enough. It is
true that on the expenditure side large sums have
been put into assets which may some day or other
be recoverable, and it is therefore impossible to
assume with any approach to accuracy what the